Pundit Wire

February 2012

February 1

“If you innovate and lose, it’s because you innovated. If you do the same old thing and lose, you had a lousy candidate.”

- Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, Time, Oct. 7, 2010

February 2

“The more we become a nation of rich and poor, the less we can pretend to be offering the same opportunities to every American.”

- Columnist Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2011

February 3

“Censorship will not rid the world of exploitation.”

- Steve Suskin, legal counsel to Village Voice Media quotes in New York Times, January 25, 2012

February 4

“We have all the information in the universe at our fingertips, while our most basic problems go unsolved year after year…All around, we see dazzling technological change, but no progress.”

- George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, in an essay published by Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2011

February 5

“Compromise today is too often applauded simply for itself. The cost of compromise to principles and real lives doesn’t seem to matter.”

- Elizabeth Edwards, in a speech at the Consumer Watchdog’s Rage for Justice Dinner, Jun. 8, 2007

February 6

“I don’t think anyone should be defined by the worst moments of their lives.”

– Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Teddy Kennedy, on judging his life’s legacy, Newsweek, Jan. 30, 2012

February 7

“There’s no version of a good economy a year from now, but we’ll have a big debate about who owns the bad economy.”

- Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, on the likely tone of the 2012 elections, New York Times, Jul. 30, 2011

February 8

“If competition is good for our economy, why isn’t it good for our politics?”

- Stanford University political scientist Larry Diamond on America’s two-party system, The New York Times, Oct. 3, 2010

February 9

“If I’ve learned one thing in the investing business, it’s that when people talk about unrealistic things, you don’t tell them they’re crazy.”

- Paul Madera, a managing director at Meritech Capital Partners who was an early investor in Facebook, on new media technology New York Times, Feb. 2, 2012

February 10

“Leadership is tested not by one’s capacity to survive politically but by the ability to make tough decisions in trying times.”

– Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, on the conflict between Israel and the Palestine, New York Times, Sep. 21, 2011

February 11

“Campaigns financed by the 1 percent will never earn the confidence of the 99 percent.”

- Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, New York Times, Nov. 17, 2011

February 12

“Any good political player sees defining moments happening and helps to form them.”

- Democratic strategist Paul Begala, New York Times, May 20, 2011

February 13

“Americans have never quite digested television. The mystique which should fade grows stronger. We make celebrities not only of men who cause events but of men who read reports of them aloud.”

- Joe McGinniss, The Selling of the President, p. 28, 1988

February 14

“Political leaders rarely say anything that isn’t already in public discourse.”

- Democratic strategist George Lakoff, The Huffington Post, Dec. 10, 2010

February 15

“[H]ere’s one thing I know for certain: the odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”

– President Obama, addressing his chances of being reelected in 2012, in a speech at a campaign fundraiser in the Georgetown home of former U.S. ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Sep. 15, 2011

February 16

“Isolated justices make isolated decisions.”

- Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, on politically inactive judges, The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2011

February 17

“The reason I’m so good is that I always prepare the opposition’s case first. I don’t even think about what I’m going to do until I know what the other side is planning.”

- Jerry Geisler, celebrity attorney in the 1950s

February 18

“The more we can humanize each other, the better it is.”

- Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), on bipartisanship, Washington Post, Feb. 13, 2011

February 19

“If there should be no religious test in politics, then why should a candidate feel compelled to respond to misplaced questions about his belief in Jesus?”

- Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, The Washington Post, Dec. 3, 2010

February 20

“The presidency’s not about being smart. Most of our great presidents have not been that brilliant. Kennedy wasn’t brilliant. Roosevelt certainly wasn’t brilliant. Truman wasn’t. But what they did was they led the American people. They led us. This is so simple.”

– Chris Matthews, on MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Nov. 19, 2011

February 21

“You would think by now that women have proved they can hold their own with the boys…And yet, like cockroaches, the old sexual prejudices still scuttle out of dark corners.”

- Kathy Kiely, managing editor of politics, National Journal, Apr. 1, 2011

February 22

“Brute survival is what the Republicans are about. They are the Darwinian brand even though, ironically, they don’t believe in evolution.”

- Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post, Dec. 14, 2010

February 23

“Culture has always been more important than politics. Sometimes culture is a mirror that reflects what is; sometimes it’s a search-light pointing the way to what will be.”

- Columnist Paul Begala, Newsweek, Feb. 20, 2012

February 24

“I, like most justices, would probably have lived a happier life if I had never been appointed to the Court, but that in time I’d come to find a value in being there that was at least worth everything the Court took from me in return.”

– Retired Justice David Souter, on advice he received from Justice Blackmun, remarks made in Harvard Law School’s fiftieth-reunion class report, reprinted in Harvard Magazine, Sep.-Oct., 2011

February 25

“The whole point of the American Dream is that it is available to everyone, not just those who awaken from their slumbers on down-filled pillows and 800-thread-count sheets.”

- Columnist Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2011

February 26

“The distinction between a large campaign contribution and a bribe is almost a hairline’s difference.”

- Late Sen. Russell Long, as re-reported by Politico, Sep. 28, 2011

February 27

“Rudimentary communication among individuals in real time allows many to move together as one–suddenly uniting everyone in a common goal. Lowering the barrier to activism doesn’t weaken humanity, it brings us together and it makes us stronger.”

- Twitter founder Biz Stone in response to Malcolm Gladwell’s criticism of social media, The Atlantic, Oct. 19, 2010

February 28

“You can be someone running…who is just a soaring leader of people. But if you don’t have the finances down, you’re going to have a problem.”

– Alec Baldwin, on getting a master’s in public administration and potential aspirations for running for mayor of New York, Newsweek, Sep. 26, 2011

February 29

“Ultimately, power in society comes from the obedience of the people. And those people – each of whom is individually a small source of power – can change their minds, and refuse to follow commands.”

- Serbian revolutionary Srdja Popovic, on the tenuousness of power, The Independent (UK), Sept. 11, 2011